Monday, August 1, 2011

Book Overload

I am apparently horrible at keeping up with blog posts, especially after every time that I read a book. I recently finished three books, although I was not reading them all at the same time. I used to try and read multiple books at once, but I found that I couldn't get as engrossed in them as much as I wanted to.

So I finished "The Blind Side" by Michael Lewis, which I have wanted to read since before the movie came out. I admit that I did see the movie before reading the book and while I thought the movie was incredible, reading the book had so much more depth to it. I also realize that a movie can only go so far as far as depth is concerned, plus movies can be slightly sensationalized. As far as I am concerned, this book brings so much more to the story of Michael Oher. While it describes his story, it also bring football history into the mix. The entire book isn't about Michael Oher. It bring into the forefront the history of the blind side tackle (most often the left tackle) and how the importance of that position came to be. It taught me some incredible lessons about football in general. I bet you didn't know that at one time during the early 1940's (if I remember correctly), roughing the passer was ENCOURAGED! It's pretty amazing to think not only how much the sport has evolved, but also the brutality that early players put their bodies through. Definitely a book worth reading, especially if you are a football fan.

I next read "Heaven is for Real" by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent. I have to admit that I was hesitant to read this book, as I am skeptical of anyone who writes that they have been to Heaven in a near death experience. But this story seemed to be a little different. This story is about a boy, who at the age of 4 (he's 11 or 12 now) had to have an appendectomy after his appendix had ruptured and been filling his body with poison for 5 days, due to a misdiagnosis from a doctor stating it was the stomach flu. During the time that he was in surgery, he states that he went to Heaven and experienced a multitude of things, all happening in 3 minutes. The things that he recalls to his parents that are directly related to them are incredible because they are things that he could not have possibly know. For instance, while he was in surgery, he knew exactly where his parents were and what they were doing. His father had never told his about his great grandfather Pop, but this young boy has met him. His mother also never told him about a miscarriage that she had (how would a 4 year old be able to comprehend that), but he comes to her one day and says that he has 2 sisters. He does have 1 sister, which his mother corrects him on and he then proceeds to tell her that she lost a baby - his mother had never know it was a girl - and that he met her too. He talks about things that no 4 year old would know about in the Bible, and details upon details that can be found in the scriptures. The fact that this took place at such a young age and are about such mature subjects made me a little less cynical about this particular book. In fact, I ended up loving it because it gave me hope - a real sense of the possibilities that I have to look forward to.

Lastly, I read "A Stolen Life" by Jaycee Dugard. If you haven't heard her story, she was kidnapped in June of 1991 at the age of 11, kept in a stranger's backyard, rapped, and disengaged from the outside world. While in captivity, she gave birth to two daughters, and was forbidden from acknowledging who she really was. At the age of 29, her years stuck in run down shacks in the backyard of a convicted sex offender were over. She was reunited with her family, who welcomed her and her daughters with outstretched arms. I had heard about the story throughout the years, that people will still searching for her. Once she decided to tell her story, I watched a special interview that she did with Diane Sawyer, which opened my eyes. My friend got the book and encouraged me to read it, which included gory details that I can't even wrap my mind around. Throughout her life, she always carried one thing with her: Hope. The hope that she would get through this situation and eventually see her mother again. What may be one of the saddest parts about the story is that since Phillip Garrido (her captor) was on parole, parole officers came to check the property and make sure nothing was amiss. In fact, parole officers visited the Garrido home 60 TIMES during the time that Jaycee Dugard was held there and as noted in the book, even saw her there, and did absolutely nothing. This book will open your eyes to the struggle that this once teenager, and now 31 year old woman went through and how she kept hope alive.

Peace and Love

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